Inspired Recipe: Blood Orange Caramels
Like Nick and Amy’s marriage in Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, these blood orange caramels are bitter and sweet, a little tart, and very fresh.
Gone Girl is a complex exploration of the human psyche. In its pages, Flynn elegantly delves into the grim layers of a troubled relationship while simultaneously portraying its sweet intimacy. Part love story, part murder mystery, this is a story that is not what it seems on the surface – the kind of tantalizing and interwoven puzzle that kept me up reading all night.
This week's inspired recipe is a reflection of this lethal combination, which is guaranteed leave you feeling anything but disappointed. These perfectly packaged little candies will change the way you think of caramels. Rather than sweet pops of sugar, they'll conjure images of passion and danger.
Give your blood orange caramels a surprising center by molding them around almonds. If you prefer your candies chewy all the way through, though, feel free to skip this step.
BLOOD ORANGE CARAMELS
- 3 cups blood orange juice (store-bought or fresh-squeezed)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
Prepare an 8" square pan, lined with wax paper. Grease the wax paper with butter. Scatter almonds across the lined pan. Sprinkle a little sea salt over the almonds. Set aside.
In a saucepan, pour the blood orange juice and let it boil until about 1/3 cup is left (I did not do this and it was a grave mistake. I had to boil it longer after I added the other ingredients, which made it take much longer).
When it boils, remove the pan from heat and stir in granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, and cream. Return to high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn heat to medium and let boil until it has a thicker consistency. It should feel like simple syrup.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
Pour the mixture over the almonds in the lined pan. Sprinkle a little sea salt over the top.
Allow the caramels to cool for at least 2 hours, but ideally overnight. They should harden into a chewy substance. Cut into 1" squares and wrap each square in wax paper or foil.
Bonus: Wrap your caramels in foil or wax paper to enjoy mess-free on your own, or to give to friends as the perfect "just because" gift.